N.C. State (2-0) plays three games in four days in the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Wolfpack opens with Montana (0-2) on Friday night, here are three things to know:
1. Working the glass
N.C. State struggled in its opener against Georgia Southern with a four-guard lineup. Then it got forward Ted Kapita cleared by the NCAA and had a strong game against St. Francis Brooklyn.
With Kapita staying in Raleigh, for student visa reasons, N.C. State will have to figure out a way to rebound with forwards Abdul-Malik Abu and BeeJay Anya in the lineup at the same time.
2. The real Dennis Smith Jr.
The freshman point guard has gotten off to a slow-ish start. He didn’t shoot well in the opener against Georgia Southern (3-for-13) and had foul trouble in the win over St. Francis. He has missed his first seven 3-pointers.
Smith does have eight assists, and only two turnovers, in two games. Without Kapita and with a banged-up Maverick Rowan, N.C. State will need Smith to do more in this tournament.
3. Working Maverick Rowan back in
The sophomore wing missed the St. Francis win with concussion-like symptoms. He didn’t practice in Raleigh before the team left for St. Thomas. N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried was expecting Rowan to be able to play, if not Friday, then in the other two games.
Rowan gives N.C. State’s offense a second shooter and helps spread the floor for Smith and guard Torin Dorn. Without Rowan (and Kapita), Shaun Kirk and Darius Hicks will likely get more minutes.
Montana vs. N.C. State
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: UVI Sports and Fitness Center, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
TV/radio: CBS Sports Network, WRAL 101.5